Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead)
Preferred Common Name
- spherical mealybug
Other Scientific Names
- Dactylopius perniciosus Newstead & Willcocks, 1910
- Dactylopius vastator Maskell, 1895
- Dactylopius viridis Newstead, 1894
- Nipaecoccus vastator (Maskell) Ferris, 1950
- Pseudococcus albizziae (Maskell) Kirkaldy, 1902
- Pseudococcus filamentosus var. corymbatus Green, 1922
- Pseudococcus perniciosus (Newstead & Willcocks) Newstead, 1920
- Pseudococcus solitarius Brain, 1915
- Pseudococcus vastator (Maskell) Kirkaldy, 1902
- Pseudococcus viridis (Newstead) Fernald, 1903
- Trionymus sericeus James, 1936
International Common Names
- English: coffee mealybug; cotton mealybug; globular mealybug
- Spanish: chinches harinosos
Local Common Names
- Egypt: lebbeck mealybug
- Germany: Wollaus, Albizzia-
- Netherlands: Bolle wolluis
- South Africa: karoo thorn mealybug; karoodoringwitluis
- NIPAVA (Nipaecoccus vastator)
- NIPAVI (Nipaecoccus viridis)
- PSECAL (Pseudococcus albizziae)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
- Unknown: Coccoidea
- Family: Pseudococcidae
- Genus: Nipaecoccus
- Species: Nipaecoccus viridis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
Eggs are dark purple and laid by the female in a yellowish to white ovisac formed by wax threads.
Male and female larval instars are described and illustrated by Ghosh and Ghose (1989). Keys to 1st-instar larvae, 2nd- and 3rd-instar female larvae and adult females are provided by Ghose and Ghosh (1990), who also discuss the morphologies of different instars of both sexes.
Ben-Dov (1994) lists numerous publications containing descriptions of the adult stage. The adult male and female stages have been re-described and illustrated several times, for example Williams and Watson (1988) for the adult female. Important characters in slide-mounted adult females are the conical to lanceolate setae on the dorsal abdominal segments being similar in size to the two cerarian setae on the anal lobes. There are numerous oral collar tubular ducts on the dorsum, and cerarii (at most eight pairs) are present on the abdomen only, each with two enlarged conical to lanceolate setae. A circulus is present, round to oval in shape, and the ostioles are represented by a poorly-developed posterior pair only.
Cilliers and Bedford (1978), Annecke and Moran (1982) and Hattingh et al. (1998) describe the appearance of live specimens of this mealybug, and provided illustrations. Adult females are about 4 mm long, the young ones covered in mealy white wax with short projecting filaments arranged around the margin. Ovipositing females become covered in abundant white waxy threads that form a smooth globular ovisac. The wax threads are very elastic and if the ovisac is grasped and pulled with the fingers, it can be drawn out for 150 mm or more. The body contents are purple and this can be observed when individuals are squashed.
Adult males have well-developed legs, antennae and genitalia, one pair of simple wings and no mouthparts. They are very short-lived.
DistributionTop of page
The distribution map includes several further records based on specimens of N. viridis from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK).
N. viridis occurs in many parts of the tropics, and is particularly widespread in Africa and the Oriental Region. N. viridis was first found in Israel in 1984 (Bar-Zakay et al., 1987).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 30 Jun 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|United States||Present, Localized|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Present|
|Papua New Guinea||Present|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
Ghosh and Ghosh (1985) reported that the artificial infestation of cotton, citrus, jute, jack fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and bhant (Clerodendrum infortunatum) with N. viridis resulted, in general, in arrestment of linear growth of the stems and petioles and great reduction and crumpling of the leaves. Histological changes in infested laminae included abnormal dimensions in different cells and an increase in the size and density of stomata.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / abnormal shape|
|Fruit / external feeding|
|Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Fruit / premature drop|
|Fruit / reduced size|
|Growing point / distortion|
|Growing point / external feeding|
|Inflorescence / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Leaves / abnormal forms|
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Leaves / fungal growth|
|Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Stems / external feeding|
|Stems / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Stems / stunting or rosetting|
|Whole plant / distortion; rosetting|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
In Iraq, populations of N. viridis reached peaks in May and October (Jarjes et al., 1989). There were significant positive correlations between population density and temperature, and negative correlations with relative humidity. Females of N. viridis each laid 90-138 eggs, and the egg and nymphal stages lasted 10-13 and 31-43 days, respectively. Overwintering took place as eggs, nymphs and adults.
In citrus orchards at Rustenburg, South Africa, there are three generations of N. viridis per year (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978). The September-October generation of mature females lays eggs that hatch during October-November. The crawlers migrate and settle mainly in protected areas, under the sepals of the fruitlets when they are pea-sized or larger. This second generation matures in November and lays eggs which hatch during December. The third generation of females matures in about March-April.
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Anagyrus dactylopii||Parasite||Arthropods|Nymphs||Guam; Saipan||Leucaena|
|Chrysoperla mutata||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
|Delphastus pusillus||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs||Saipan||Leucaena|
|Eublemma costimacula||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
|Leptomastix phenacocci||Parasite||Egypt||shade trees|
|Nephus ryuguus||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
|Pyroderces philogeorgia||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Alamella flava and Anagyrus near A. gunturiensis [A. mirzai] have been reared from N. viridis collected on coffee at Karnataka, India (Chacko and Singh, 1980). Euryischomyia alami [E. washingtoni] has also been reported from Karnataka, India (Shafee, 1970).
The gregarious encyrtid parasitoid Anagyrus agraensis oviposits in nymphs in all three immature instars and in adult females of N. viridis (Nechols and Kikuchi, 1985).
In Iraq, peaks of activity by predators and parasites of N. viridis occurred between 15 May and 15 June for Exochomus nigripennis, Dicrodiplosis sp., Anagyrus pseudococci and Marietta picta (a hyperparasitoid), and in September-October for Nephus bipunctatus, Chrysopa sp., Dicrodiplosis sp., A. pseudococci and M. picta (El-Haidari et al., 1974).
In the laboratory in Iraq, the predator Chrysopa mutata [Chrysoperla mutata], fed on N. viridis (Abid et al., 1985).
Additional information on natural enemies can be found in Williams and Watson (1988), including the predators Cryptolaemus sp. and Diadiplosis sp. Other reported predators include Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Exochomus flavipes, Gitonides perspicax [Domomyza perspicax], Leucopis alticeps and Sympherobius sp. (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978) and Diadiplosis koebelei (Gagne and Stein, 1982).
However, there is no evidence that these predators are significant control agents in the field.
ImpactTop of page
Losses in citrus orchards are due firstly to fruit drop caused by large infestations of mealybugs. In South Africa, half or more of the navel crop can be lost in this way (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978). Secondly, fruits with lumpy outgrowths or raised shoulders near the stem end, caused by N. viridis feeding, have to be culled in the packhouse (Hattingh et al. 1998).
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Introduction
Control measures in Israel are described by Bar-Zakay et al. (1987).
Studies in India showed that bagging of pomegranate fruits was effective as a physical measure for controlling the lycaenid Virachola isocrates [Deudorix isocrates], but could not be recommended as it resulted in increased infestation of the fruits by N. viridis (Shevale, 1994).
In Egypt, life table studies indicate that N. viridis should be controlled on lemon trees by means of insecticide application(s) during the first half of July, instead of the traditional control operations in spring, summer and autumn (Sharaf, 1996). Chemical control methods are also described by Sharaf and Meyerdirk (1987).
Studies by Meyerdirk et al. (1988) showed that Anagyrus agraensis, which was released into the Jordan River Valley from Guam, greatly reduced infestations of N. viridis in areas where A. agraensis was abundant. Bartlett (1978) also discusses biological control of N. viridis.
Nechols and Seibert (1985) found that survivorship of N. viridis in northern Guam was significantly higher on Leucaena leucocephala tended by the ant Technomyrmex albipes than when T. albipes was excluded. The presence of T. albipes decreased the percentage of N. viridis parasitized by the encyrtid Anagyrus agraensis and the mortality attributable to host killing by A. agraensis and predation by other arthropods.
In South Africa, this mealybug is considered to be well controlled by natural enemies. Outbreaks generally result from chemical disruption of such natural enemies (Hattingh et al. 1998).
ReferencesTop of page
Abdul-Rassoul MS, 2014. Host plants of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead, 1894) (Homoptera, Pseudococcidae) in Iraq with detection of new hosts. Advances in Bio Research, 5(4):3-6. http://soeagra.com/abr/abrdec2014/2.pdf
Abdul-Rassoul MS, 2015. Host plants of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead, 1894) (Homoptera, pseudococcidae) in Iraq with detection of new hosts. Advances in Bio Research, 6(2):23-26. http://soeagra.com/abr/abrmarch2015/4.pdf
Abid MK; Al-Rubep JK; Hussien AK, 1985. Biological studies on the predator Chrysopa mutata McLachlan (Chrysopidae Neuroptera) in Iraq. Journal of Agriculture and Water Resources Research, 4(1):153-160
Ali SM, 1970. A catalogue of the Oriental Coccoidea. (Part IV.) (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea). Indian Museum Bulletin, Calcutta, 5:71-150.
APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA).
Bartlett BR, 1978. Pseudococcidae. In: Clausen CP, ed. Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod Pests and Weeds: a World Review. Agriculture Handbook No. 480, 137-170.
Ben-Dov Y, 1994. A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic importance. Andover, UK; Intercept Limited, 686 pp.
Cilliers CJ; Bedford ECG, 1978. Citrus mealybugs. In: Bedford ECG, ed. Citrus Pests in the Republic of South Africa. Science Bulletin, Department of Agricultural Technical Services, Republic of South Africa, No. 391, 89-97.
El-Haidari HS; Aziz FI; Wahab WA, 1974. Activity of predators and parasites of the mealybug, Nippcoccus vastator (Maskell) in Iraq. Yearbook of Plant Protection Research, Iraq Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, 1:Ar pp. 41-46; en p.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Food and Agriculture Organization, 1972. Report to the Government of Saudi Arabia on research in plant protection based on the work of H.E. Martin, FAO Entomologist. Report to the Government of Saudi Arabia on research in plant protection based on the work of H.E. Martin, FAO Entomologist., v + 38 pp.
Gagne RJ; Stein JD, 1982. Diadiplosis koebelei Koebele (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a rediscovered predator of scale insects. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington No. 10: 65-69.
Ghosh AB; Ghose SK, 1989. Description of all instars of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Homoptera, Pseudococcidae). Environment and Ecology, 7:564-570.
Hattingh V; Cilliers CJ; Bedford ECG, 1998. Citrus mealybugs. In: Bedford ECG, Berg MA van den, Villiers EA de, eds. Citrus Pests in the Republic of South Africa. 2nd edition (revised). Agricultural Research Council, Republic of South Africa, No. 391, 112-120.
Jarjes SJ; Al-Mallah NM; Abdulla SI, 1989. Insects and mites pests survey on rose-bay shrubs in Mosul region with some ecological and biological aspects of (Nipaecoccus viridis New.) and (Parlatoria crypta M) on rose-bay shrubs. Mesopotamia Journal of Agriculture, 21(3):29
Mani, M., Krishnamoorthy, A., 2008. Biological suppression of the mealybugs Planococcus citri (Risso), Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell) and Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) on pummelo with Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant in India. Journal of Biological Control, 22(1), 169-172.
Meyerdirk DE; Khasimuddin S; Bashir M, 1988. Importation, colonization and establishment of Anagyrus indicus (Hym : Encyrtidae) on Nippcoccus viridis (Hom.: Pseudococcidae) in Jordan. Entomophaga, 33(2):229-237
Nechols JR; Kikuchi RS, 1985. Host selection of the spherical mealybug (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) by Anagyrus indicus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae): influence of host stage on parasitoid oviposition, development, sex ratio, and survival. Environmental Entomology, 14(1):32-37
Newstead R, 1894. Scale insects in Madras. Indian Museum Notes, 3:21-32.
Sharaf NS, 1996. Importance of life tables for determining proper timing and frequency of insecticide application in controlling the spherical mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Dirasat. Agricultural Sciences, 23(2):103-110; 8 ref.
Sharaf NS; Meyerdirk DE, 1987. A review on the biology, ecology and control of Nippcoccus viridis (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Miscellaneous Publications of the Entomological Society of America, No. 66:18pp.
Stocks IC; Hodges G, 2010. Pest Alert: Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead), a new exotic mealybug in South Florida (Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae) (DACS-P-01678). Florida, USA: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/pest_alerts/nipaecoccus-viridis-pest-alert.html
Walton, V. M., Krüger, K., Saccaggi, D. L., Millar, I. M., 2009. A survey of scale insects (Sternorryncha: Coccoidea) occurring on table grapes in South Africa. Journal of Insect Science (Madison), 9, 47. doi: 10.1673/031.009.4701
Abdul-Rassoul M S, 2014. Host plants of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead, 1894) (Homoptera, Pseudococcidae) in Iraq with detection of new hosts. Advances in Bio Research. 5 (4), 3-6. http://soeagra.com/abr/abrdec2014/2.pdf
Abdul-Rassoul M S, 2015. Host plants of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead, 1894) (Homoptera, pseudococcidae) in Iraq with detection of new hosts. Advances in Bio Research. 6 (2), 23-26. http://soeagra.com/abr/abrmarch2015/4.pdf
Babu S R, 2016. Note on the occurrence of spherical mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) and their parasitoids on soybean in southern Rajasthan. Current Biotica. 9 (4), 373-375. http://www.currentbiotica.com/CB/Journals9-Issue-IV/CB-9-4-Short-notes-1.pdf
Bellis G A, Donaldson J F, Carver M, Hancock D L, Fletcher M J, 2004. Records of insect pests on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean. Australian Entomologist. 31 (3), 93-102.
Ben-Dov Y, 1994. A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic importance. In: A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic importance. Andover, UK: Intercept Limited. 686 pp.
Bharpoda T M, Koshiya D J, Korat D M, 2009. Seasonal occurrence of insect-pests on aonla (Emblica officinalis Geartn) and their natural enemies. Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 22 (2), 314-318.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Diepenbrock L M, Ahmed M Z, 2020. First report of Nipaecoccus viridis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) associated with citrus production in the United States. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 11 (7), DOI:10.1093/jipm/pmaa004
El-Haidari H S, Aziz F I, Wahab W A, 1974. Activity of predators and parasites of the mealybug, Nipaecoccus vastator (Maskell) in Iraq. Yearbook of Plant Protection Research, Iraq Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform. Ar pp. 41-46; en p.
Gagne RJ, Stein JD, 1982. Diadiplosis koebelei Koebele (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a rediscovered predator of scale insects. In: Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington, 10 65-69.
Jarjes S J, Al-Mallah N M, Abdulla S I, 1989. Insects and mites pests survey on rose-bay shrubs in Mosul region with some ecological and biological aspects of (Nipaecoccus viridis New.) and (Parlatoria crypta M) on rose-bay shrubs. Mesopotamia Journal of Agriculture. 21 (3), 29.
Mani M, Krishnamoorthy A, 2008. Biological suppression of the mealybugs Planococcus citri (Risso), Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell) and Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) on pummelo with Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant in India. Journal of Biological Control. 22 (1), 169-172.
Nechols J R, 2002. Biological control of the spherical mealybug on Guam and in the Northern Marianas Islands: a classic example of fortuitous biological control. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, Honolulu, Hawaii, 14-18 January 2002. [ed. by Van Driesche R G]. Washington, USA: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 324-329.
Stocks I C, Hodges G, 2010. Pest Alert: Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead), a new exotic mealybug in South Florida (Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae). In: Pest Alert: Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead), a new exotic mealybug in South Florida (Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae), Florida, USA: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/pest_alerts/nipaecoccus-viridis-pest-alert.html
Suh SooJung, Bombay K, 2015. Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) found on dracaena and ficus plants (Asparagales: Asparagaceae, Rosales: Moraceae) from southeastern Asia. Insecta Mundi. 1-10. http://centerforsystematicentomology.org/default.asp?action=insectamundi&id=insecta_new&year=2015
Walton V M, Krüger K, Saccaggi D L, Millar I M, 2009. A survey of scale insects (Sternorryncha: Coccoidea) occurring on table grapes in South Africa. Journal of Insect Science (Madison). 47. http://www.insectscience.org/9.47/ DOI:10.1673/031.009.4701
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